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You Don't Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows 

Submitted by Karin Asbley, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, John 
Jacobs, Jeff Jones, Gerry Long, Home Machtinger, Jim Mellen, 
Terry Robbins, Mark Rudd and Steve Tappis. 

From /New Left Notes/, June 18, 1969 

I. International Revolution 

The contradiction between the revolutionary peoples of Asia, Africa and 
Latin America and the imperialists headed by the United States is the 
principal contradiction in the contemporary world. The development of 
this contradiction is promoting the struggle of the people of the whole 
world against US imperialism and its lackeys. 

Lin Piao, Long Live the Victory of People's War! 

People ask, what is the nature of the revolution that we talk about- 


will it be made by, and for, and what are its goals and strategy- 

The overriding consideration in answering these guestions is that the 
main struggle going on in the world today is between US imperialism and 
the national liberation struggles against it. This is essential in 
defining political matters in the whole world: because it is by far the 
most powerful, every other empire and petty dictator is in the long run 
dependent on US imperialism, which has unified, allied with, and 
defended all of the reactionary forces of the whole world. Thus, in 
considering every other force or phenomenon, from Soviet imperialism or 
Israeli imperialism to "workers struggle" in France or Czechoslovakia, 
we determine who are our friends and who are our enemies according to 
whether they help US imperialism or fight to defeat it. 

So the very first question people in this country must ask in 
considering the question of revolution is where they stand in relation 
to the United States as an oppressor nation, and where they stand in 
relation to the masses of people throughout the world whom US 
imperialism is oppressing. 

The primary task of revolutionary struggle is to solve this principal 
contradiction on the side of the people of the world. It is the 
oppressed peoples of the world who have created the wealth of this 
empire and it is to them that it belongs; the goal of the revolutionary 
struggle must be the control and use of this wealth in the interests of 
the oppressed peoples of the world. 

It is in this context that we must examine the revolutionary struggles 
in the United States. We are within the heartland of a worldwide 
monster, a country so rich from its worldwide plunder that even the 
crumbs doled out to the enslaved masses within its borders provide for 
material existence very much above the conditions of the masses of 
people of the world. The US empire, as a worldwide system, channels 
wealth, based upon the labor and resources of the rest of the world, 
into the United States. The relative affluence existing in the United 

States is directly dependent upon the labor and natural resources of 


Vietnamese, the Angolans, the Bolivians and the rest of the peoples of 

the Third World. All of the United Airlines Astrojets, all of the 

Holiday Inns, all of Hertz's automobiles, your television set, car and 

wardrobe already belong, to a large degree to the people of the rest of 

the world. 

Therefore, any conception of "socialist revolution" simply in terms of 
the working people of the United States, failing to recognize the full 
scope of interests of the most oppressed peoples of the world, is a 
conception of a fight for a particular privileged interest, and is a 
very dangerous ideology. While the control and use of the wealth of the 
Empire for the people of the whole world is also in the interests of 

vast majority of the people in this country, if the goal is not clear 
from the start we will further the preservation of class society, 
oppression, war, genocide, and the complete emiseration of everyone, 
including the people of the US. 

The goal is the destruction of US imperialism and the achievement of a 
classless world: world communism. Winning state power in the US will 
occur as a result of the military forces of the US overextending 
themselves around the world and being defeated piecemeal; struggle 
within the US will be a vital part of this process, but when the 
revolution triumphs in the US it will have been made by the people of 
the whole world. For socialism to be defined in national terms within 

extreme and historical an oppressor nation as this is only imperialist 
national chauvinism on the part of the "movement." 

II. What Is The Black Colony- 

Not every colony of people oppressed by imperialism lies outside the 
boundaries of the US. Black people within North America, brought here 
400 years ago as slaves and whose labor, as slaves, built this country, 
are an internal colony within the confines of the oppressor nation. 

this means is that black people are oppressed as a whole people, in the 
institutions and social relations of the country, apart from simply the 
consideration of their class position, income, skill, etc., as 
individuals- What does this colony look like- What is the basis for its 
common oppression and why is it important- 
One historically important position has been that the black colony only 
consists of the black belt nation in the South, whose fight for 

liberation is based on a common land, culture, history and economic 
life. The corollary of this position is that black people in the rest 

the country are a national minority but not actually part of the colony 
themselves; so the struggle for national liberation is for the black 
belt, and not all blacks; black people in the north, not actually part 
of the colony, are part of the working class of the white oppressor 
nation. In this formulation northern black workers have a "dual 
role"— one an interest in supporting the struggle in the South, and 

opposing racism, as members of the national minority; and as northern 

"white nation" workers whose class interest is in integrated socialism 

in the north. The consistent version of this line actually calls for 

integrated organizing of black and white workers in the north along 


it calls "class" lines. 

This position is wrong; in reality, the black colony does not exist 

simply as the "black belt nation, " but exists in the country as a 

whole . 

The common oppression of black people and the common culture growing 


of that history are not based historically or currently on their 

relation to the territory of the black belt, even though that has been 


place of population concentration and has some very different 

characteristics than the north, particularly around the land guestion. 

Rather, the common features of oppression, history and culture which 

unify black people as a colony (although originating historically in a 

common territory apart from the colonizers, i.e., Africa, not the 


have been based historically on their common position as slaves, which 

since the nominal abolition of slavery has taken the form of caste 

oppression, and oppression of black people as a people everywhere that 

they exist. A new black nation, different from the nations of Africa 

from which it came, has been forged by the common historical experience 

of importation and slavery and caste oppression; to claim that to be a 

nation it must of necessity now be based on a common national territory 

apart from the colonizing nation is a mechanical application of 


which were and are applicable to different situations. 

What is specifically meant by the term caste is that all black people, 
on the basis of their common slave history, common culture and skin 
color are systematically denied access to particular job categories (or 
positions within job categories), social position, etc., regardless of 
individual skills, talents, money or education. Within the working 
class, they are the most oppressed section; in the petit bourgeoisie, 
they are even more strictly confined to the lowest levels. Token 
exceptions aside, the specific content of this caste oppression is to 
maintain black people in the most exploitative and oppressive jobs and 
conditions. Therefore, since the lowest class is the working class, the 
black caste is almost entirely a caste of the working class, or [holds] 
positions as oppressed as the lower working-class positions (poor black 
petit bourgeoisie and farmers); it is a colonial labor caste,, a colony 
whose common national character itself is defined by their common class 
position . 

Thus, northern blacks do not have a "dual interest"— as blacks on the 


hand and "US-nation workers" on the other. They have a single class 

interest, along with all other black people in the US, as members of 


Black Proletarian Colony. 

III. The Struggle For Socialist Self-Determination 

The struggle of black people— as a colony— is for self-determination, 
freedom, and liberation from US imperialism. Because blacks have been 
oppressed and held in an inferior social position as a people, they 

a right to decide, organize and act on their common destiny as a people 
apart from white interference. Black self-determination does not simply 
apply to determination of their collective political destiny at some 
future time. It is directly tied to the fact that because all blacks 
experience oppression in a form that no whites do, no whites are in a 
position to fully understand and test from their own practice the real 
situation black people face and the necessary response to it. This is 
why it is necessary for black people to organize separately and 
determine their actions separately at each stage of the struggle. 

It is important to understand the implications of this. It is not 

legitimate for whites to organizationally intervene in differences 


revolutionary black nationalists. It would be arrogant for us to attack 

any black organization that defends black people and opposes 


in practice. But it is necessary to develop a correct understanding of 

the Black Liberation struggle within our own organization, where an 

incorrect one will further racist practice in our relations with the 

black movement. 

In the history of some external colonies, such as China and Vietnam, 


struggle for self-determination has had two stages: (1) a united front 

against imperialism and for New Democracy (which is a joint 


of anti-colonial classes led by the proletariat, the content of which 


a compromise between the interests of the proletariat and nationalist 

peasants, petit bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie); and (2) 

developing out of the new democratic stage, socialism. 

However, the black liberation struggle in this country will have only 
one "stage"; the struggle for self-determination will embody within it 
the struggle for socialism. 

As Huey P. Newton has said, "In order to be a revolutionary 


you would of necessity have to be a socialist." This is because— given 

the caste guality of 

oppress ion-as-a-people-through-a-common-degree-of -exploitation— self - 


requires being free from white capitalist exploitation in the form of 

inferior (lower caste) jobs, housing, schools, hospitals, prices. In 

addition, only what was or became in practice a socialist program for 

self -determination— one which addressed itself to reversing this 

exploitation— could win the necessary active mass support in the 

"proletarian colony." 

The program of a united front for new democracy, on the other hand, 
would not be as thorough, and so would not win as active and determined 

support from the black masses. The only reason for having such a front 
would be where the independent petit bourgeois forces which it would 
bring in would add enough strength to balance the weakening of 
proletarian backing. This is not the case: first, because much of the 
black petit bourgeoisie is actually a "comprador" petit bourgeoisie 
(like so-called black capitalists who are promoted by the power 
structure to seem independent but are really agents of white monopoly 
capital), who would never fight as a class for any real 

self-determination; and secondly, because many black petit bourgeoisie, 
perhaps most, while not having a class interest in socialist 
self-determination, are close enough to the black masses in the 
oppression and limitations on their conditions that they will support 
many kinds of self-determination issues, and, especially when the 
movement is winning, can be won to support full (socialist) 
self-determination. For the black movement to work to maximize this 
support from the petit bourgeoisie is correct; but it is in no way a 
united front where it is clear that the Black Liberation Movement 

not and does not modify the revolutionary socialist content of its 
to win that support. 

From /New Left Notes/, June 18, 1969 

IV. Black Liberation Means Revolution 

What is the relationship of the struggle for black self-determination 

the whole worldwide revolution to defeat US imperialism and 
internationalize its resources toward the goal of creating a classless 
No black self-determination could be won which would not result in a 
victory for the international revolution as a whole. The black 
proletarian colony, being dispersed as such a large and exploited 
section of the work force, is essential to the survival of imperialism. 
Thus, even if the black liberation movement chose to try to attain 
self-determination in the form of a separate country (a legitimate part 
of the right to self-determination), existing side by side with the US, 
imperialism could not survive if they won it— and so would never give up 
without being defeated. Thus, a revolutionary nationalist movement 

not win without destroying the state power of the imperialists; and it 
is for this reason that the black liberation movement, as a 
revolutionary nationalist movement for self-determination, is 
automatically in and of itself an inseparable part of the whole 
revolutionary struggle against US imperialism and for international 

However, the fact that black liberation depends on winning the whole 

revolution does not mean that it depends on waiting for and joining 


a mass white movement to do it. The genocidal oppression of black 


must be ended, and does not allow any leisure time to wait; if 

necessary, black people could win self-determination, abolishing the 

whole imperialist system and seizing state power to do it, without this 
white movement, although the cost among whites and blacks both would be 
high . 

Blacks could do it alone if necessary because of their centralness to 
the system, economically and geo-militarily, and because of the level 

unity, commitment, and initiative which will be developed in waging a 
people's war for survival and national liberation. However, we do not 
expect that they will have to do it alone, not only because of the 
international situation, but also because the real interests of masses 
of oppressed whites in this country lie with the Black Liberation 
struggle, and the conditions for understanding and fighting for these 
interests grow with the deepening of the crises. Already, the black 
liberation movement has carried with it an upsurge of revolutionary 
consciousness among white youth; and while there are no guarantees, we 
can expect that this will extend and deepen among all oppressed whites. 

To put aside the possibility of blacks winning alone leads to the 


position that blacks should wait for whites and are dependent on whites 

acting for them to win. Yet the possibility of blacks winning alone 

cannot in the least be a justification for whites failing to shoulder 

the burden of developing a revolutionary movement among whites. If the 

first error is racism by holding back black liberation, this would be 

equally racist by leaving blacks isolated to take on the whole fight— 


the whole cost— for everyone. 

It is necessary to defeat both racist tendencies: (1) that blacks 
shouldn't go ahead with making the revolution, and (2) that blacks 
should go ahead alone with making it. The only third path is to build a 
white movement which will support the blacks in moving as fast as they 
have to and are able to, and still itself keep up with that black 
movement enough so that white revolutionaries share the cost and the 
blacks don't have to do the whole thing alone. Any white who does not 
follow this third path is objectively following one of the other two 
both) and is objectively racist. 

V. Anti-Imperialist Revolution And The United Front 

Since the strategy for defeating imperialism in semi-feudal colonies 


two stages, the new democratic stage of a united front to throw out 

imperialism and then the socialist stage, some people suggest two 


for the US too— one to stop imperialism, the anti-imperialist stage, and 

another to achieve the dictatorship of the proletariat, the socialist 

stage. It is no accident that even the proponents of this idea can't 

tell you what it means. In reality, imperialism is a predatory 

international stage of capitalism. Defeating imperialism within the US 

couldn't possibly have the content, which it could in a semi-feudal 

country, of replacing imperialism with capitalism or new democracy; 


imperialism is defeated in the US, it will be replaced by 

socialism— nothing else. One revolution, one replacement process, one 
seizure of state power— the anti-imperialist revolution and the 

revolution, one and the same stage. To talk of this as two separate 
stages, the struggle to overthrow imperialism and the struggle for 
socialist revolution, is as crazy as if Marx had talked about the 
proletarian socialist revolution as a revolution of two stages, one the 
overthrow of capitalist state power, and second the establishment of 
socialist state power. 

Along with no two stages, there is no united front with the petit 

bourgeoisie, because its interests as a class aren't for replacing 

imperialism with socialism. As far as people within this country are 

concerned, the international war against imperialism is the same task 


the socialist revolution, for one overthrow of power here. There is no 

"united front" for socialism here. 

One reason people have considered the "united front" idea is the fear 
that if we were talking about a one-stage socialist revolution we would 
fail to organize maximum possible support among people, like some petit 
bourgeoisie, who would fight imperialism on a particular issue, but 
weren't for revolution. When the petit bourgeoisie's interest is for 
fighting imperialism on a particular issue, but not for overthrowing it 
and replacing it with socialism, it is still contributing to revolution 
to that extent— not to some intermediate thing which is not imperialism 
and not socialism. Someone not for revolution is not for actually 
defeating imperialism either, but we still can and should unite with 
them on particular issues. But this is not a united front (and we 

not put forth some joint "united front" line with them to the exclusion 
of our own politics), because their class position isn't against 
imperialism as a system. In China, or Vietnam, the petit bourgeoisie's 
class interests could be for actually winning against imperialism; this 
was because their task was driving it out, not overthrowing its whole 
existence. For us here, "throwing it out" means not from one colony, 

all of them, throwing it out of the world, the same thing as 
overthrowing it . 

VI. International Strategy 

What is the strategy of this international revolutionary movement- What 

are the strategic weaknesses of the imperialists which make it possible 

for us to win- Revolutionaries around the world are in general 


on the answer, which Lin Piao describes in the following way: 

US imperialism is stronger, but also more vulnerable, than any 
imperialism of the past. It sets itself against the people of the whole 
world, including the people of the United States. Its human, military, 
material and financial resources are far from sufficient for the 
realization of its ambition of domination over the whole world. US 
imperialism has further weakened itself by occupying so many places in 
the world, overreaching itself, stretching its fingers out wide and 
dispersing its strength, with its rear so far away and its supply lines 

so long. 

—/Long Live the Victory of People's War/ 

The strategy which flows from this is what Che called "creating two, 
three, many Vietnams"— to mobilize the struggle so sharply in so many 
places that the imperialists cannot possibly deal with it all. Since it 
is essential to their interests, they will try to deal with it all, and 
will be defeated and destroyed in the process. 

In defining and implementing this strategy, it is clear that the 

vanguard (that is, the section of the people who are in the forefront 


the struggle and whose class interests and needs define the terms and 

tasks of the revolution) of the "American Revolution" is the workers 


oppressed peoples of the colonies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

Because of the level of special oppression of black people as a colony, 

they reflect the interests of the oppressed people of the world from 

within the borders of the United States; they are part of the Third 

World and part of the international revolutionary vanguard. 

The vanguard role of the Vietnamese and other Third World countries in 
defeating US imperialism has been clear to our movement for some time. 
What has not been so clear is the vanguard role black people have 
played, and continue to play, in the development of revolutionary 
consciousness and struggle within the United States. Criticisms of the 
black liberation struggle as being "reactionary" or of black 
organizations on campus as being conservative or "racist" very often 
express this lack of understanding. These ideas are incorrect and must 
be defeated if a revolutionary movement is going to be built among 
whites . 

The black colony, due to its particular nature as a slave colony, never 

adopted a chauvinist identification with America as an imperialist 

power, either politically or culturally. Moreover, the history of black 

people in America has consistently been one of the greatest overall 

repudiations of and struggle against the state. From the slave ships 

from Africa to the slave revolts, the Civil War, etc., black people 


been waging a struggle for survival and liberation. In the history of 

our own movement this has also been the case: the civil rights 

struggles, initiated and led by blacks in the South; the rebellions 

beginning with Harlem in 1964 and Watts in 1965 through Detroit and 

Newark in 1967; the campus struggles at all-black schools in the South 

and struggles led by blacks on campuses all across the country. As it 


the blacks— along with the Vietnamese and other Third World people— who 

are most oppressed by US imperialism, their class interests are most 

solidly and resolutely committed to waging revolutionary struggle 

through to its completion. Therefore it is no surprise that time and 

again, in both political content and level of consciousness and 

militancy, it has been the black liberation movement which has upped 


ante and defined the terms of the struggle. 

What is the relationship of this "black vanguard" to the "many 


around the world- Obviously this is an example of our strategy that 

different fronts reinforce each other. The fact that the Vietnamese are 

winning weakens the enemy, advancing the possibilities for the black 

struggle, etc. But it is important for us to understand that the 

interrelationship is more than this. Black people do not simply 


to intensify their struggle because they want to help the Vietnamese, 


because they see that Vietnam heightens the possibilities for struggle 

here. The existence of any one Vietnam, especially a winning one, spurs 

on others not only through consciousness and choice, but through need, 

because it is a political and economic, as well as military, weakening 

of capitalism, and this means that to compensate, the imperialists are 

forced to intensify their oppression of other people. 

Thus the loss of China and Cuba and the loss now of Vietnam not only 
encourages other oppressed peoples (such as the blacks) by showing what 
the alternative is and that it can be won, but also costs the 
imperialists billions of dollars which they then have to take out of 

oppression of these other peoples. Within this country increased 
oppression falls heavier on the most oppressed sections of the 
population, so that the condition of all workers is worsened through 
rising taxes, inflation and the fall of real wages, and speedup. But 
this increased oppression falls heaviest on the most oppressed, such as 
poor white workers and, especially, the blacks, for example through the 
collapse of state services like schools, hospitals and welfare, which 
naturally hits the hardest at those most dependent on them. 

This deterioration pushes people to fight harder to even try to 


their present level. The more the ruling class is hurt in Vietnam, the 

harder people will be pushed to rebel and to fight for reforms. Because 

there exist successful models of revolution in Cuba, Vietnam, etc., 

these reform struggles will provide a continually larger and stronger 

base for revolutionary ideas. Because it needs to maximize profits by 

denying the reforms, and is aware that these conditions and reform 

struggles will therefore lead to revolutionary consciousness, the 


class will see it more and more necessary to come down on any motion at 

all, even where it is not yet highly organized or conscious. It will 

come down faster on black people, because their oppression is 


fastest, and this makes their rebellion most thorough and most 

dangerous, and fastest growing. It is because of this that the vanguard 

character and role of the black liberation struggle will be increased 

and intensified, rather than being increasingly egual to and merged 


the situation and rebellion of oppressed white working people and 

youth . 

The crises of imperialism (the existence of Vietnam and especially that 

it's winning) will therefore create a "Black Vietnam" within the US. 

Given that black self-determination would mean fully crushing the power 
of the imperialists, this "Vietnam" has certain different 

characteristics than the external colonial wars. The imperialists will 

never "get out of the US" until their total strength and every resource 

they can bring to bear has been smashed; so the Black Vietnam cannot 


without bringing the whole thing down and winning for everyone. This 

means that this war of liberation will be the most protracted and 

hardest fought of all. 

It is in this context that the guestion of the South must be dealt with 
again, not as a guestion of whether or not the black nation, black 
colony, exists there, as opposed to in the North as well, but rather as 
a practical guestion of strategy and tactics: Can the black liberation 
struggle— the struggle of all blacks in the country— gain advantage in 

actual war of liberation by concentrating on building base areas in the 
South in territory with a concentration of black population- 

This is very clearly a different guestion than that of "where the 

is," and to this guestion the "yes" answer is an important possibility. 
If the best potential for struggle in the South were realized, it is 
fully conceivable and legitimate that the struggle there could take on 
the character of a fight for separation; and any victories won in that 
direction would be important gains for the national liberation of the 
colony as a whole. However, because the colony is dispersed over the 
whole country, and not just located in the black belt, winning still 
means the power and liberation of blacks in the whole country. 

Thus, even the winning of separate independence in the South would 


be one step toward self-determination, and not eguivalent to winning 


which, because of the economic position of the colony as a whole, would 

still reguire overthrowing the state power of the imperialists, taking 

over production and the whole economy and power, etc. 

VII. The Revolutionary Youth Movement: Class Analysis 

The revolutionary youth movement program was hailed as a transition 

strategy, which explained a lot of our past work and pointed to new 

directions for our movement. But as a transition to what- What was our 

overall strategy- Was the youth movement strategy just an 


strategy because SDS is an organization of youth and we can move best 

with other young people- 

We have pointed to the vanguard nature of the black struggle in this 
country as part of the international struggle against American 
imperialism, and the impossibility of anything but an international 
strategy for winning. Any attempt to put forth a strategy which, 

internationalist rhetoric, assumes a purely internal development to the 
class struggle in this country, is incorrect. The Vietnamese (and the 
Uruguayans and the Rhodesians) and the blacks and Third World peoples 

this country will continue to set the terms for class struggle in 
America . 

In this context, why an emphasis on youth- Why should young people be 
willing to fight on the side of Third World peoples- Before dealing 

this guestion about youth, however, there follows a brief sketch of the 
main class categories in the white mother country which we think are 
important, and [which] indicate our present estimation of their 
respective class interests (bearing in mind that the potential for 
various sections to understand and fight for the revolution will vary 
according to more than just their real class interests) . 

Most of the population is of the working class, by which we mean not 
simply industrial or production workers, nor those who are actually 
working, but the whole section of the population which doesn't own 
productive property and so lives off of the sale of its labor power. 
This is not a metaphysical category either in terms of its interests, 
the role it plays, or even who is in it, which very often is difficult 
to determine. 

As a whole, the long-range interests of the non-colonial sections of 

working class lie with overthrowing imperialism, with supporting 
self-determination for the oppressed nations (including the black 
colony), with supporting and fighting for international socialism. 
However, virtually all of the white working class also has short-range 
privileges from imperialism, which are not false privileges but very 
real ones which give them an edge of vested interest and tie them to a 
certain extent to the imperialists, especially when the latter are in a 
relatively prosperous phase. When the imperialists are losing their 
empire, on the other hand, these short-range privileged interests are 
seen to be temporary (even though the privileges may be relatively 
greater over the faster-increasing emiseration of the oppressed 
peoples) . The long-range interests of workers in siding with the 
oppressed peoples are seen more clearly in the light of imperialism's 
impending defeat. Within the whole working class, the balance of 
anti-imperialist class interests with white mother country short-term 
privilege varies greatly. 

First, the most oppressed sections of the mother country working class 
have interests most clearly and strongly anti-imperialist. Who are the 
most oppressed sections of the working class- Millions of whites who 
have as oppressive material conditions as the blacks, or almost so: 
especially poor southern white workers; the unemployed or semi- 

or those employed at very low wages for long hours and bad conditions, 
who are non-unionized or have weak unions; and extending up to include 
much of unionized labor which has it a little better off but still is 
heavily oppressed and exploited. This category covers a wide range and 
includes the most oppressed sections not only of production and service 
workers but also some secretaries, clerks, etc. Much of this category 
gets some relative privileges (i.e. benefits) from imperialism, which 
constitute some material basis for being racist or pro-imperialist; but 
overall it is itself directly and heavily oppressed, so that in 

to its long-range class interest on the side of the people of the 


its immediate situation also constitutes a strong basis for sharpening 

the struggle against the state and fighting through to revolution. 

Secondly, there is the upper strata of the working class. This is also 

an extremely broad category, including the upper strata of unionized 

skilled workers and also most of the "new working class" of 

proletarianized or semi-proletarianized "intellect workers." There is 


clearly marked dividing line between the previous section and this one; 

our conclusions in dealing with "guestionable" strata will in any event 

have to come from more thorough analysis of particular situations. The 

long-range class interests of this strata, like the previous section of 

more oppressed workers, are for the revolution and against imperialism. 

However, it is characterized by a higher level of privilege relative to 

the oppressed colonies, including the blacks, and relative to more 

oppressed workers in the mother country; so that there is a strong 

material basis for racism and loyalty to the system. In a revolutionary 

situation, where the people's forces were on the offensive and the 

ruling class was clearly losing, most of this upper strata of the 

working class will be winnable to the revolution, while at least some 

sections of it will probably identify their interests with imperialism 

till the end and oppose the revolution (which parts do which will have 

to do with more variables than just the particular level of privilege) . 

The further development of the situation will clarify where this 


will go, although it is clear that either way we do not put any 


on reaching older employed workers from this strata at this time. The 

exception is where they are important to the black liberation struggle, 

the Third World, or the youth movement in particular situations, such 


with teachers, hospital technicians, etc., in which cases we must fight 

particularly hard to organize them around a revolutionary line of full 

support for black liberation and the international revolution against 


imperialism. This is crucial because the privilege of this section of 

the working class has provided and will provide a strong material basis 

for national chauvinist and social democratic ideology within the 

movement, such as anti-internationalist concepts of "student power" and 

"workers control." Another consideration in understanding the interests 

of this segment is that, because of the way it developed and how its 

skills and its privileges were "earned over time, " the differential 

between the position of youth and older workers is in many ways greater 

for this section than any other in the population. We should continue 


see it as important to build the revolutionary youth movement among the 

youth of this strata. 

Thirdly, there are "middle strata" who are not petit bourgeoisie, who 
may even technically be upper working class, but who are so privileged 
and tightly tied to imperialism through their job roles that they are 
agents of imperialism. This section includes management personnel, 
corporate lawyers, higher civil servants, and other government agents, 
army officers, etc. Because their job categories reguire and promote a 
close identification with the interests of the ruling class, these 

strata are enemies of the revolution. 

Fourthly, and last among the categories we're going to deal with, is 

petit bourgeoisie. This class is different from the middle level 
described above in that it has the independent class interest which is 
opposed to both monopoly power and to socialism. The petit bourgeoisie 
consists of small capital— both business and farms— and self-employed 
tradesmen and professionals (many professionals work for monopoly 
capital, and are either the upper level of the working class or in the 
dent class interests-anti-monopoly capital, but for capitalism rather 
than socialism— gives it a political character of some opposition to 

government," like its increased spending and taxes and its totalitarian 
extension of its control into every aspect of life, and to "big labor, " 
which is at this time itself part of the monopoly capitalist power 
structure. The direction which this opposition takes can be reactionary 
or reformist. At this time the reformist side of it is very much 
mitigated by the extent to which the independence of the petit 
bourgeoisie is being undermined. Increasingly, small businesses are 
becoming extensions of big ones, while professionals and self-employed 
tradesmen less and less sell their skills on their own terms and become 
regular employees of big firms. This tendency does not mean that the 
reformist aspect is not still present; it is, and there are various 
issues, like withdrawing from a losing imperialist war, where we could 
get support from them. On the guestion of imperialism as a system, 
however, their class interests are generally more for it than for 
overthrowing it, and it will be the deserters from their class who stay 
with us . 

VIII. Why A Revolutionary Youth Movement- 

In terms of the above analysis, most young people in the US are part of 
the working class. Although not yet employed, young people whose 

sell their labor power for wages, and more important who themselves 
expect to do the same in the future— or go into the army or be 
unemployed— are undeniably members of the working class. Most kids are 
well aware of what class they are in, even though they may not be very 
scientific about it. So our analysis assumes from the beginning that 
youth struggles are, by and large, working-class struggles. But why the 
focus now on the struggles of working-class youth rather than on the 
working class as a whole- 

The potential for revolutionary consciousness does not always 


to ultimate class interest, particularly when imperialism is relatively 

prosperous and the movement is in an early stage. At this stage, we see 

working-class youth as those most open to a revolutionary movement 


sides with the struggles of Third World people; the following is an 

attempt to explain a strategic focus on youth for SDS. 

In general, young people have less stake in a society (no family, fewer 
debts, etc.), are more open to new ideas (they have not been 

for so long or so well), and are therefore more able and willing to 


in a revolutionary direction. Specifically in America, young people 


grown up experiencing the crises in imperialism. They have grown up 

along with a developing black liberation movement, with the liberation 

of Cuba, the fights for independence in Africa and the war in Vietnam. 

Older people grew up during the fight against fascism, during the Cold 

War, the smashing of the trade unions, McCarthy, and a period during 

which real wages consistently rose— since 1965 disposable real income 


decreased slightly, particularly in urban areas where inflation and 

increased taxation have bitten heavily into wages. This crisis in 

imperialism affects all parts of the society. America has had to 

militarize to protect and expand its empire; hence the high draft calls 

and the creation of a standing army of three and a half million, an 


which still has been unable to win in Vietnam. Further, the huge 


expenditures— reguired for the defense of the empire and at the same 


a way of making increasing profits for the defense industries— have gone 

hand in hand with the urban crisis around welfare, the hospitals, the 

schools, housing, air and water pollution. The State cannot provide the 

services it has been forced to assume responsibility for, and needs to 

increase taxes and to pay its growing debts while it cuts services and 

uses the pigs to repress protest. The private sector of the economy 

can't provide jobs, particularly unskilled jobs. The expansion of the 

defense and education industries by the State since World War II is in 

part an attempt to pick up the slack, though the inability to provide 

decent wages and working conditions for "public" jobs is more and more 



As imperialism struggles to hold together this decaying social fabric, 
it inevitably resorts to brute force and authoritarian ideology. 

especially young people, more and more find themselves in the iron grip 
of authoritarian institutions. Reaction against the pigs or teachers in 
the schools, welfare pigs or the army, is generalizable and extends 
beyond the particular repressive institution to the society and the 
State as a whole. The legitimacy of the State is called into guestion 
for the first time in at least 30 years, and the anti-authoritarianism 
which characterizes the youth rebellion turns into rejection of the 
State, a refusal to be socialized into American society. Kids used to 
try to beat the system from inside the army or from inside the schools; 
now they desert from the army and burn down the schools. 

The crisis in imperialism has brought about a breakdown in bourgeois 
social forms, culture and ideology. The family falls apart, kids leave 
home, women begin to break out of traditional "female" and "mother" 
roles. There develops a "generation gap" and a "youth problem." Our 
heroes are no longer struggling businessmen, and we also begin to 

the ideal career of the professional and look to Mao, Chef, the 
Panthers, the Third World, for our models, for motion. We reject the 
elitist, technocratic bullshit that tells us only experts can rule, and 

look instead to leadership from the people's war of the Vietnamese. 
Chuck Berry, Elvis, the Temptations brought us closer to the "people's 
culture" of Black America. The racist response to the civil rights 
movement revealed the depth of racism in America, as well as the 
impossibility of real change through American institutions. And the war 
against Vietnam is not "the heroic war against the Nazis"; it's the big 
lie, with napalm burning through everything we had heard this country 
stood for. Kids begin to ask guestions: Where is the Free World- And 
do the pigs protect at horae- 

The breakdown in bourgeois culture and concomitant anti- 

is fed by the crisis in imperialism, but also in turn feeds that 

exacerbates it so that people no longer merely want the plastic '50s 
restored, but glimpse an alternative (like inside the Columbia 
buildings) and begin to fight for it. We don't want teachers to be more 
kindly cops; we want to smash cops, and build a new life. 

Photo 2 Bernardine Dohrn announces the expulsion of PL from SDS. 

The contradictions of decaying imperialism fall hardest on youth in 

distinct areas— the schools, jobs, the draft and the army, and the pigs 
and the courts. (A) In jail-like schools, kids are fed a mish-mash of 
racist, male chauvinist, anti-working class, anti-communist lies while 
being channeled into job and career paths set up according to the 
priorities of monopoly capital. At the same time, the State is becoming 
increasingly incapable of providing enough money to keep the schools 
going at all. (B) Youth unemployment is three times average 
unemployment. As more jobs are threatened by automation or the collapse 
of specific industries, unions act to secure jobs for those already 
employed. New people in the labor market can't find jobs, job stability 
is undermined (also because of increasing speed-up and more intolerable 
safety conditions) and people are less and less going to work in the 
same shop for 40 years. And, of course, when they do find jobs, young 
people get the worst ones and have the least seniority. (C) There are 
now two and a half million soldiers under thirty who are forced to 
police the world, kill and be killed in wars of imperialist domination. 
And (D) as a "youth problem" develops out of all this, the pigs and 
courts enforce curfews, set up pot busts, keep people off the streets, 
and repress any youth motion whatsoever. 

In all of this, it is not that life in America is toughest for youth or 
that they are the most oppressed. Rather, it is that young people are 
hurt directly— and severely— by imperialism. And, in being less tightly 
tied to the system, they are more "pushed" to join the black liberation 
struggle against US imperialism. Among young people there is less of a 
material base for racism— they have no seniority, have not spent 20 

securing a skilled job (the white monopoly of which is increasingly 
challenged by the black liberation movement), and aren't just about to 
pay off a 25-year mortgage on a house which is valuable because it's 
located in a white neighborhood. 

While these contradictions of imperialism fall hard on all youth, they 

fall hardest on the youth of the most oppressed (least privileged) 
sections of the working class. Clearly these youth have the greatest 
material base for struggle. They are the ones who most often get 
drafted, who get the worst jobs if they get any, who are most abused by 
the various institutions of social control, from the army to decaying 
schools, to the pigs and the courts. And their day-to-day existence 
indicates a potential for militancy and toughness. They are the people 
whom we can reach who at this stage are most ready to engage in 
revolutionary struggle. 

The point of the revolutionary youth movement strategy is to move from 

predominant student elite base to more oppressed (less privileged) 
working-class youth as a way of deepening and expanding the 
revolutionary youth movement— not of giving up what we have gained, not 
giving up our old car for a new Dodge. This is part of a strategy to 
reach the entire working class to engage in struggle against 
imperialism; moving from more privileged sections of white working- 

youth to more oppressed sections to the entire working class as a 

including importantly what has classically been called the industrial 
proletariat. But this should not be taken to mean that there is a magic 
moment, after we reach a certain percentage of the working class, when 
all of a sudden we become a working-class movement. We are already that 
if we put forward internationalist proletarian politics. We also don't 
have to wait to become a revolutionary force. We must be a 
self-conscious revolutionary force from the beginning, not be a 

which takes issues to some mystical group— "THE PEOPLE"— who will make 

revolution. We must be a revolutionary movement of people understanding 
the necessity to reach more people, all working people, as we make the 
revolution . 

The above arguments make it clear that it is both important and 

to reach young people wherever they are— not only in the shops, but also 
in the schools, in the army and in the streets— so as to recruit them to 
fight on the side of the oppressed peoples of the world. Young people 
will be part of the International Liberation Army. The necessity to 
build this International Liberation Army in America leads to certain 
priorities in practice for the revolutionary youth movement which we 
should begin to apply this summer. ... 

IX. Imperialism Is The Issue 

The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties 


this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletariat of different 

countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests 


the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the 

various stages of development which the struggle of the working-class 

against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere 

represent the interests of the movement as a whole." 

—Communist Manifesto 

How do we reach youth; what kinds of struggles do we build; how do we 

make a revolution- What we have tried to lay out so far is the 


content of the consciousness which we want to extend and develop as a 

mass consciousness: the necessity to build our power as part of the 

whole international revolution to smash the state power of the 

imperialists and build socialism. Besides consciousness of this task, 


must involve masses of people in accomplishing it. Yet we are faced 


a situation in which almost all of the people whose interests are 


by these goals, and who should be, or even are, sympathetic to 

revolution, neither understand the specific tasks involved in making a 

revolution nor participate in accomplishing them. On the whole, people 

don't join revolutions just because revolutionaries tell them to. The 

oppression of the system affects people in particular ways, and the 

development of political consciousness and participation begins with 

particular problems, which turn into issues and struggles. We must 

transform people's everyday problems, and the issues and struggles 

growing out of them, into revolutionary consciousness, active and 

conscious opposition to racism and imperialism. 

This is directly counterposed to assuming that struggles around 

immediate issues will lead naturally over time to struggle against 

imperialism. It has been argued that since people's oppression is due 


imperialism and racism, then any struggle against immediate oppression 

is "objectively anti-imperialist," and the development of the fight 

against imperialism is a succession of fights for reforms. This error 


classical economism. 

A variant of this argument admits that this position is often wrong, 


suggests that since imperialism is collapsing at this time, fights for 

reforms become "objectively anti-imperialist." At this stage of 

imperialism there obviously will be more and more struggles for the 

improvement of material conditions, but that is no guarantee of 

increasing internationalist proletarian consciousness. 

On the one hand, if we, as revolutionaries, are capable of 


the necessity to smash imperialism and build socialism, then the masses 

of people who we want to fight along with us are capable of that 

understanding. On the other hand, people are brainwashed and at present 

don't understand it; if revolution is not raised at every opportunity, 

then how can we expect people to see it in their interests, or to 

undertake the burdens of revolution- We need to make it clear from the 

very beginning that we are about revolution. But if we are so careful 


avoid the dangers of reformism, how do we relate to particular reform 

struggles- We have to develop some sense of how to relate each 

particular issue to the revolution. 

In every case, our aim is to raise anti-imperialist and anti-racist 
consciousness and tie the struggles of working-class youth (and all 
working people) to the struggles of Third World people, rather than 
merely joining fights to improve material conditions, even though these 
fights are certainly justified. This is not to say that we don't take 
immediate fights seriously, or fight hard in them, but that we are 
always up front with our politics, knowing that people in the course of 
struggle are open to a class line, ready to move beyond narrow 
self-interest . 

It is in this sense that we point out that the particular issue is not 
the issue, is important insofar as it points to imperialism as an enemy 
that has to be destroyed. Imperialism is always the issue. Obviously, 
the issue cannot be a good illustration, or a powerful symbol, if it is 
not real to people, if it doesn't relate to the concrete oppression 

imperialism causes. People have to be (and are being) hurt in some 
material way to understand the evils of imperialism, but what we must 
stress is the systematic nature of oppression and the way in which a 
single manifestation of imperialism makes clear its fundamental nature. 
At Columbia it was not the gym, in particular, which was important in 
the struggle, but the way in which the gym represented, to the people 

Harlem and Columbia, Columbia's imperialist invasion of the black 
colony. Or at Berkeley, though people no doubt needed a park (as much, 
however, as many other things-), what made the struggle so important 

that people, at all levels of militancy, consciously saw themselves 
attacking private property and the power of the State. And the Richmond 
Oil Strike was exciting because the militant fight for improvement of 
material conditions was part and parcel of an attack on international 
monopoly capital. The numbers and militancy of people mobilized for 
these struggles has consistently surprised the left, and pointed to the 
potential power of a class-conscious mass movement. 

The masses will fight for socialism when they understand that reform 
fights, fights for improvement of material conditions, cannot be won 
under imperialism. With this understanding, revolutionaries should 

put forth a line which fosters the illusion that imperialism will grant 
significant reforms. We must engage in struggles forthrightly as 
revolutionaries, so that it will be clear to anyone we help to win 

that the revolution rather than imperialism is responsible for them. 
This is one of the strengths of the Black Panther Party Breakfast for 
Children Program. It is "socialism in practice" by revolutionaries with 
the "practice" of armed self-defense and a "line" which stresses the 
necessity of overthrowing imperialism and seizing state power. Probably 
the American Friends Service Committee serves more children breakfast, 
but it is the symbolic value of the program in demonstrating what 
socialism will do for people which makes the Black Panther Program 
worthwhile . 

What does it mean to organize around racism and imperialism in specific 
struggles- In the high schools (and colleges) at this time, it means 

putting forth a mass line to close down the schools, rather than to 

reform them, so that they can serve the people. The reason for this 


is not that under capitalism the schools cannot serve the people, and 

therefore it is silly or illusory to demand that. Rather, it is that 

kids are ready for the full scope of militant struggle, and already 

demonstrate a consciousness of imperialism, such that struggles for a 

people-serving school would not raise the level of their struggle to 


highest possible point. Thus, to tell a kid in New York that 


tracks him and thereby oppresses him is often small potatoes compared 


his consciousness that imperialism oppresses him by jailing him, pigs 

and all, and the only thing to do is break out and tear up the jail. 


even where high school kids are not yet engaged in such sharp struggle, 

it is crucial not to build consciousness only around specific issues 

such as tracking or ROTC or racist teachers, but to use these issues to 

build toward the general consciousness that the schools should be shut 

down. It may be important to present a conception of what schools 


or could be like (this would include the abolition of the distinction 

between mental and physical work), but not offer this total conception 

as really possible to fight for in any way but through revolution. 

A mass line to close down the schools or colleges does not contradict 
demands for open admissions to college or any other good reform demand. 
Agitational demands for impossible, but reasonable, reforms are a good 
way to make a revolutionary point. The demand for open admissions by 
asserting the alternative to the present (school) system exposes its 
fundamental nature— that it is racist, class-based, and closed— pointing 
to the only possible solution to the present situation: "Shut it down!" 
The impossibility of real open admissions— all black and brown people 
admitted, no flunk-out, full scholarship, under present conditions— is 
the best reason (that the schools show no possibility for real reform) 
to shut the schools down. We should not throw away the pieces of 
victories we gain from these struggles, for any kind of more open 
admissions means that the school is closer to closing down (it costs 

schools more, there are more militant blacks and browns making more and 
more fundamental demands on the schools, and so on) . Thus our line in 
the schools, in terms of pushing any good reforms, should be, Open them 
up and shut them down!" 

The spread of black caucuses in the shops and other workplaces 
throughout the country is an extension of the black liberation 
struggle . 

These groups have raised and will continue to raise anti-racist issues 
to white workers in a sharper fashion than any whites ever have or 

raise them. Blacks leading struggles against racism made the issue 
unavoidable, as the black student movement leadership did for white 
students. At the same time these black groups have led fights which 
traditional trade-union leaders have consistently refused to lead- 
against speed-up and for safety (issues which have become considerably 

more serious in the last few years), forcing white workers, 

the more oppressed, to choose in another way between allegiance to the 
white mother country and black leadership. As white mother country 
radicals we should try to be in shops, hospitals, and companies where 
there are black caucuses, perhaps organizing solidarity groups, but at 
any rate pushing the importance of the black liberation struggle to 
whites, handing out Free Huey literature, bringing guys out to Panther 
rallies, and so on. Just one white guy could play a crucial role in 
countering UAW counter-insurgency. 

We also need to relate to workplaces where there is no black motion but 
where there are still many young white workers. In the shops the crisis 
in imperialism has come down around speed-up, safety, and wage 
squeeze-due to higher taxes and increased inflation, with the 
possibility of wage-price controls being instituted. 

We must relate this exploitation back to imperialism. The best way to 


this is probably not caucuses in the shops, but to take guys to 


demonstrations, Newsreels, even the latest administration building, to 

make the Movement concrete to them and involve them in it. Further, we 

can effect consciousness and pick up people through agitational work at 

plants, train stops, etc., selling Movements, handing out leaflets 


the war, the Panthers, the companies' holdings overseas or relations to 

defense industry, etc. 

After the Richmond strike, people leafleted about demonstrations in 
support of the Curagao Oil workers, Free Huey May Day, and People's 
Park . 

SDS has not dealt in any adequate way with the women question; the 

resolution passed at Ann Arbor did not lead to much practice, nor has 

the need to fight male supremacy been given any programmatic direction 

within the RYM. As a result, we have a very limited understanding of 


tie-up between imperialism and the women question, although we know 


since World War II the differential between men's and women's wages has 

increased, and guess that the breakdown of the family is crucial to the 

woman question. How do we organize women against racism and imperialism 

without submerging the principled revolutionary question of women's 

liberation- We have no real answer, but we recognize the real 

reactionary danger of women's groups that are not self-consciously 

revolutionary and anti-imperialist. 

To become more relevant to the growing women's movement, SDS women 
should begin to see as a primary responsibility the self-conscious 
organizing of women. We will not be able to organize women unless we 
speak directly to their own oppression. This will become more and more 
critical as we work with more oppressed women. Women who are working 

women who have families face male supremacy continuously in their 
day-to-day lives; that will have to be the starting point in their 
politicization . Women will never be able to undertake a full 

revolutionary role unless they break out of their woman's role. So a 
crucial task for revolutionaries is the creation of forms of 
organization in which women will be able to take on new and independent 
roles. Women's self-defense groups will be a step toward these 
organizational forms, as an effort to overcome women's isolation and 
build revolutionary self-reliance. 

The cultural revolt of women against their "role" in imperialism (which 

is just beginning to happen in a mass way) should have the same sort of 

revolutionary potential that the RYM claimed for "youth culture." The 

role of the "wife-mother" is reactionary in most modern societies, and 

the disintegration of that role under imperialism should make women 


sympathetic to revolution. 

In all of our work we should try to formulate demands that not only 
reach out to more oppressed women, but ones which tie us to other 
ongoing struggles, in the way that a daycare center at U of C 
[University of Chicago] enabled us to tie the women's liberation 
struggle to the Black Liberation struggle. 

There must be a strong revolutionary women's movement, for without one 
it will be impossible for women's liberation to be an important part of 
the revolution. Revolutionaries must be made to understand the full 
scope of women's oppression, and the necessity to smash male supremacy. 

X. Neighborhood-Based Citywide Youth Movement 

One way to make clear the nature of the system and our tasks working 


of separate struggles is to tie them together with each other: to show 

that we're one "multi-issue" movement, not an alliance of high school 

and college students, or students and GIs, or youth and workers, or 

students and the black community. The way to do this is to build 


regional or sub-regional and citywide movements, by regularly bringing 

people in one institution or area to fights going on on other fronts. 

This works on two levels. Within a neighborhood, by bringing kids to 
different fights and relating these fights to each other— high school 
stuff, colleges, housing, welfare, shops— we begin to build one 
neighborhood-based multi-issue movement off of them. Besides actions 

demonstrations, we also pull different people together in day-to-day 
film showings, rallies, for speakers and study groups, etc. On a second 
level, we combine neighborhood "bases" into a citywide or region-wide 
movement by doing the same kind of thing; concentrating our forces at 
whatever important struggles are going on and building more ongoing 
interrelationships off of that. 

The importance of specifically neighborhood-based organizing is 

illustrated by our greatest failing in RYM practice so far— high school 

organizing. In most cities we don't know the kids who have been tearing 

up and burning down the schools. Our approach has been elitist, 


to often baseless citywide groups by bringing them our line, or picking 

up kids with a false understanding of "politics" rather than those 


practice demonstrates their concrete anti-imperialist consciousness 


schools are prisons. We've been unwilling to work continuously with 


school kids as we did in building up college chapters. We will only 

reach the high school kids who are in motion by being in the 

schoolyards, hangouts and on the streets on an everyday basis. From a 

neighborhood base, high school kids could be effectively tied in to 

struggles around other institutions and issues, and to the 

anti-imperialist movement as a whole. 

We will try to involve neighborhood kids who aren't in high schools 

take them to anti-war or anti-racism fights, stuff in the schools, 
etc . ; 

and at the same time reach out more broadly through newspapers, films, 
storefronts. Activists and cadres who are recruited in this work will 
help expand and deepen the Movement in new neighborhoods and high 
schools. Mostly we will still be tied in to the college-based movement 
in the same area, be influencing its direction away from campus- 

provincialism, be recruiting high school kids into it where it is real 
enough and be recruiting organizers out of it. In its most developed 
form, this neighborhood-based movement would be a kind of sub-region. 

places where the Movement wasn't so strong, this would be an important 
form for being close to kids in a day-to-day way and yet be relating 
heavily to a lot of issues and political fronts which the same kids are 
involved with. 

The second level is combining these neighborhoods into citywide and 
regional movements. This would mean doing the same thing— bringing 

to other fights going on— only on a larger scale, relating to various 
blow-ups and regional mobilizations. An example is how a lot of people 
from different places went to San Francisco State, the Richmond Oil 
Strike, and now Berkeley. The existence of this kind of cross-motion 
makes ongoing organizing in other places go faster and stronger, first 
by creating a pervasive politicization, and second by relating 
everything to the most militant and advanced struggles going on so that 
they influence and set the pace for a lot more people. Further, cities 
are a basic unit of organization of the whole society in a way that 
neighborhoods aren't. For example, one front where we should be doing 
stuff is the courts; they are mostly organized citywide, not by smaller 
areas. The same for the city government itself. Schools where kids go 
are in different neighborhoods from where they live, especially 
colleges; the same for hospitals people go to, and where they work. As 

practical guestion of staying with people we pick up, the need for a 
citywide or area-wide kind of orientation is already felt in our 
movement . 

Another failure of this year was making clear what the RYM meant for 
chapter members and students who weren't organizers about to leave 

campus for a community college, high school, GI organizing, shops or 

neighborhoods. One thing it means for them is relating heavily to 

off-campus activities and struggles, as part of the citywide motion. 


leaving the campus movement like people did for ERAP [Education 


Action Project] stuff; rather, people still organized on the campus in 

off-campus struggles, the way they have in the past for national 

actions. Like the national actions, the citywide ones will build the 

on-campus movement, not compete with it. 

Because the Movement will be defining itself in relation to many issues 
and groups, not just schools (and the war and racism as they hit at the 
schools), it will create a political context that non-students can 
relate to better, and be more useful to organizing among high school 
students, neighborhood kids, the mass of people. In the process, it 

change the consciousness of the students too; if the issues are right 
and the Movement fights them, people will develop a commitment to the 
struggle as a whole, and an understanding of the need to be 
revolutionaries rather than a "student movement." Building a 
revolutionary youth movement will depend on organizing in a lot of 
places where we haven't been, and just tying the student movement to 
other issues and struggles isn't a substitute for that. But given our 
limited resources we must also lead the on-campus motion into a RYM 
direction, and we can make great gains toward citywide youth movements 
by doing it. 

Three principles underlie this multi-issue, "cross-institutional" 
movement, on the neighborhood and citywide levels, as to why it creates 
greater revolutionary consciousness and active participation in the 
revolution : 

(1) Mixing different issues, struggles and groups demonstrates our 
analysis to people in a material way. We claim there is one system and 
so all these different problems have the same solution, revolution. If 
they are the same struggle in the end, we should make that clear from 
the beginning. On this basis we must aggressively smash the notion that 
there can be outside agitators on a guestion pertaining to the 
imperialists . 

(2) "Relating to Motion": the struggle activity, the action, of the 
Movement demonstrates our existence and strength to people in a 

way. Seeing it happen, people give it more weight in their thinking. 

the participants, involvement in struggle is the best education about 
the Movement, the enemy and the class struggle. In a neighborhood or 
whole city the existence of some struggle is a catalyst for other 
struggles— it pushes people to see the Movement as more important and 
urgent, and as an example and precedent makes it easier for them to 
follow. If the participants in a struggle are based in different 
institutions or parts of the city, these effects are multiplied. Varied 
participation helps the Movement be seen as political (wholly 
subversive) rather than as separate grievance fights. As people in one 
section of the Movement fight beside and identify closer with other 

sections, the mutual catalytic effect of their struggles will be 
greater . 

(3) We must build a Movement oriented toward power. Revolution is a 
power struggle, and we must develop that understanding among people 

the beginning. Pooling our resources area-wide and citywide really does 
increase our power in particular fights, as-well as push a 
mutual-aid-in-struggle consciousness . 

XI . The RYM And The Pigs 

A major focus in our neighborhood and citywide work is the pigs, 


they tie together the various struggles around the State as the enemy, 

and thus point to the need for a Movement oriented toward power to 

defeat it . 

The pigs are the capitalist state, and as such define the limits of all 

political struggles; to the extent that a revolutionary struggle shows 

signs of success, they come in and mark the point it can't go beyond. 


the early stages of struggle, the ruling class lets parents come down 


high school kids, or jocks attack college chapters. When the struggle 

escalates the pigs come in; at Columbia, the left was afraid its 

struggle would be co-opted to anti-police brutality, cops off campus, 

and said pigs weren't the issue. But pigs really are the issue and 

people will understand this, one way or another. They can have a 


understanding that pigs are sweaty working-class barbarians who 

over-react and commit "police brutality" and so shouldn't be on campus. 

Or they can understand pigs as the repressive imperialist State doing 

its job. Our job is not to avoid the issue of the pigs as "diverting" 

from anti-imperialist struggle, but to emphasize that they are our real 

enemy if we fight that struggle to win. 

Even when there is no organized political struggle, the pigs come down 

on people in everyday life in enforcing capitalist property relations, 

bourgeois laws and bourgeois morality; they guard stores and factories 

and the rich and enforce credit and rent against the poor. The 

overwhelming majority of arrests in America are for crimes against 

property. The pigs will be coming down on the kids we're working with 


the schools, on the streets, around dope; we should focus on them, 


them out all the time, like the Panthers do. We should relate the daily 

oppression by the pig to their role in political repression, and 


a class understanding of political power and armed force among the kids 

we're with. 

As we develop a base these two aspects of the pig role increasingly 


together. In the schools, pig is part of daily oppression— keeping order 

in halls and lunch rooms, controlling smoking— while at the same time 

pigs prevent kids from handing out leaflets, and bust "outside 
agitators." The presence of youth, or youth with long hair, becomes 
defined as organized political struggle and the pigs react to it as 
such. More and more everyday activity is politically threatening, so 
pigs are suddenly more in evidence; this in turn generates political 
organization and opposition, and so on. Our task will be to catalyze 
this development, pushing out the conflict with the pig so as to define 
every struggle— schools (pigs out, pig institutes out), welfare 
( invading 

pig-protected office), the streets (curfew and turf fights)— as a 
struggle against the needs of capitalism and the force of the State. 

Pigs don't represent State power as an abstract principle; they are a 

power that we will have to overcome in the course of struggle or become 

irrelevant, revisionist, or dead. We must prepare concretely to meet 

their power because our job is to defeat the pigs and the army, and 

organize on that basis. Our beginnings should stress 

self -defense— building defense groups around karate classes, learning 


to move on the street and around the neighborhood, medical training, 

popularizing and moving toward (according to necessity) armed 

self-defense, all the time honoring and putting forth the principle 


"political power comes out of the barrel of a gun." These self-defense 

groups would initiate pig surveillance patrols, visits to the pig 

station and courts when someone is busted, etc. 

Obviously the issues around the pig will not come down by neighborhood 
alone; it will take at least citywide groups able to coordinate 
activities against a unified enemy— in the early stages, for legal and 
bail resources and turning people out for demonstrations, adding the 
power of the citywide movement to what may be initially only a tenuous 
base in a neighborhood. Struggles in one part of the city will not only 
provide lessons for but [will] materially aid similar motion in the 
of it. 

Thus the pigs are ultimately the glue— the necessity— that holds the 
neighborhood-based and citywide movement together; all of our concrete 
needs lead to pushing the pigs to the fore as a political focus: 

(1) making institutionally oriented reform struggles deal with State 
power, by pushing our struggle till either winning or getting pigged; 

(2) using the citywide inter-relation of fights to raise the level of 
struggle and further large-scale anti-pig movement-power consciousness; 

(3) developing spontaneous anti-pig consciousness in our neighborhoods 
to an understanding of imperialism, class struggle and the State; 

(4) and using the citywide movement as a platform for reinforcing and 
extending this politicization work, like by talking about getting 
together a citywide neighborhood-based mutual aid anti-pig self-defense 
network . 

All of this can be done through citywide agitation and propaganda and 
picking certain issues— to have as the central regional focus for the 

whole Movement . 

XII. Repression And Revolution 

As institutional fights and anti-pig self-defense off of them 


so will the ruling class's repression. Their escalation of repression 

will inevitably continue according to how threatening the Movement is 


their power. Our task is not to avoid or end repression; that can 


be done by pulling back, so we're not dangerous enough to reguire 

crushing. Sometimes it is correct to do that as a tactical retreat, to 

survive to fight again. 

To defeat repression, however, is not to stop it but to go on building 
the Movement to be more dangerous to them; in which case, defeated at 
one level, repression will escalate even more. To succeed in defending 
the Movement, and not just ourselves at its expense, we will have to 
successively meet and overcome these greater and greater levels of 
repression . 

To be winning will thus necessarily, as imperialism's lesser efforts 

fail, bring about a phase of all-out military repression. To survive 


grow in the face of that will reguire more than a larger base of 

supporters; it will reguire the invincible strength of a mass base at a 

high level of active participation and consciousness, and can only come 

from mobilizing the self-conscious creativity, will and determination 


the people. 

Each new escalation of the struggle in response to new levels of 

repression, each protracted struggle around self-defense which becomes 


material fighting force, is part of the international strategy of 

solidarity with Vietnam and the blacks, through opening up other 

fronts . 

They are anti-war, anti-imperialist and pro-black liberation. If they 

involve fighting the enemy, then these struggles are part of the 

revolution . 

Therefore, clearly the organization and active, conscious, 

mass base needed to survive repression are also the same needed for 
winning the revolution. The Revolutionary Youth Movement speaks to the 
need for this kind of active mass-based Movement by tying citywide 
motion back to community youth bases, because this brings us close 
enough to kids in their day-to-day lives to organize their "maximum 
active participation" around enough different kinds of fights to push 
the "highest level of consciousness" about imperialism, the black 
vanguard, the State and the need for armed struggle. 

III. The Need For A Revolutionary Party 

The RYM must also lead to the effective organization needed to survive 
and to create another battlefield of the revolution. A revolution is a 
war; when the Movement in this country can defend itself militarily 
against total repression it will be part of the revolutionary war. 

This will reguire a cadre organization, effective secrecy, self- 

among the cadres, and an integrated relationship with the active 
mass-based Movement. To win a war with an enemy as highly organized and 
centralized as the imperialists will reguire a (clandestine) 
organization of revolutionaries, having also a unified "general staff"; 
that is, combined at some point with discipline under one centralized 
leadership. Because war is political, political tasks— the international 
communist revolution— must guide it. Therefore the centralized 
organization of revolutionaries must be a political organization as 
as military, what is generally called a "Marxist-Leninist" party. 

How will we accomplish the building of this kind of organization- It is 
clear that we couldn't somehow form such a party at this time, because 
the conditions for it do not exist in this country outside the Black 
nation. What are these conditions- 
One is that to have a unified centralized organization it is necessary 
to have a common revolutionary theory which explains, at least 
generally, the nature of our revolutionary tasks and how to accomplish 
them. It must be a set of ideas which have been tested and developed in 
the practice of resolving the important contradictions in our work. 

A second condition is the existence of revolutionary leadership tested 

in practice. To have a centralized party under illegal and repressive 

conditions reguires a centralized leadership, specific individuals with 

the understanding and the ability to unify and guide the Movement in 


face of new problems and be right most of the time. 

Thirdly, and most important, there must be the same revolutionary mass 
base mentioned earlier, or (better) revolutionary mass movement. It is 
clear that without this there can't be the practical experience to know 
whether or not a theory, or a leader, is any good at all. Without 
practical revolutionary activity on a mass scale the party could not 
test and develop new ideas and draw conclusions with enough surety 
behind them to consistently base its survival on them. Especially, no 
revolutionary party could possibly survive Without relying on the 
support and participation of masses of people. 

These conditions for the development of a revolutionary party in this 
country are the main "conditions" for winning. There are two kinds of 
tasks for us. 

One is the organization of revolutionary collectives within the 

Movement. Our theory must come from practice, but it can't be developed 

in isolation. Only a collective pooling of our experiences can develop 


thorough understanding of the complex conditions in this country. In 


same way, only our collective efforts toward a common plan can 
adequately test the ideas we develop. The development of revolutionary 
Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collective formations which undertake this 
concrete evaluation and application of the lessons of our work is not 
just the task of specialists or leaders, but the responsibility of 

revolutionary. Just as a collective is necessary to sum up experiences 
and apply them locally, equally the collective interrelationship of 
qroups all over the country is necessary to qet an accurate view of the 
whole movement and to apply that in the whole country. Over time, those 
collectives which prove themselves in practice to have the correct 
understandinq (by the results they qet) will contribute toward the 
creation of a unified revolutionary party. 

The most important task for us toward makinq the revolution, and the 
work our collectives should enqaqe in, is the creation of a mass 
revolutionary movement, without which a clandestine revolutionary party 
will be impossible. A revolutionary mass movement is different from the 
traditional revisionist mass base of "sympathizers." Rather it is akin 
to the Red Guard in China, based on the full participation and 
involvement of masses of people in the practice of makinq revolution; a 
movement with a full willinqness to participate in the violent and 
illegal struggle. It is a movement diametrically opposed to the elitist 
idea that only leaders are smart enough or interested enough to accept 
full revolutionary conclusions. It is a movement built on the basis of 
faith in the masses of people. 

The task of collectives is to create this kind of movement. (The party 
is not a substitute for it. and in fact is totally dependent on it.) 
This will be done at this stage principally among youth, through 
implementing the Revolutionary Youth Movement strategy discussed in 

paper. It is practice at this, and not political "teachings" in the 
abstract, which will determine the relevance of the political 
collectives which are formed. 

The strategy of the RYM for developing an active mass base, tying the 
citywide fights to community and citywide anti-pig movement, and for 
building a party eventually out of this motion, fits with the world 
strategy for winning the revolution, builds a movement oriented toward 
power, and will become one division of the International Liberation 
Army, while its battlefields are added to the many Vietnams which will 
dismember and dispose of US imperialism. Long Live the Victory of 
People ' s War !